Commodities were in focus on Friday, with both energy and basic resources finishing trade lower than their fellow sectors. The oil sector closed lower, as prices sank, with U.S. crude off more than 1.5 percent by Europe's close. At 4:30 p.m. London time, Brent was trading at $54.21, while U.S. crude fell further, last standing at $48.26.
Meanwhile, basic resources sank 1.77 percent as a sector, as metal prices like copper, nickel and lead all posted sharp losses. In addition, miners were under pressure following softer-than-expected export data from Beijing. Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Antofagasta all closed over 3 percent lower.
Retail also suffered from a poor performance on Friday, with U.K. firms Marks & Spencer and Kingfisher closing at the bottom of the index, after Deutsche Bank cut its target price on the stocks. The broker also modified its rating on WH Smith, causing it to slip 1.5 percent.
Looking at individual stocks, Akzo Nobel issued a profit warning, citing cost inflation and currency headwinds, and said it would fall short of reaching the 100 million euros ($121 million) of 2017 operating profit it promised when blocking a recent takeover attempt. Shares of the paints and industrial coatings firm came off its lows, to close down 0.63 percent.
Meanwhile, Greene King slumped to the bottom of the benchmark, after it reported a dip in pub like-for-like sales for the 18 weeks through to September 3. The U.K. pub retailer also said it expected weaker consumer confidence to persist in the near term. Shares tumbled 15.7 percent.
On the other end of the spectrum, French investment bank Natixis was one of the STOXX 600's top performers, closing up 2.64 percent after Kepler Cheuvreux raised its target price on the stock. Danish transport firm DSV meanwhile, rose 2 percent after JP Morgan started with an "overweight" rating on the stock.